Myth #11: The Virgin Mary
As shown in previous myths, the infancy of Jesus was created to meet certain criteria in order for the gospel writers to claim Jesus was the messiah. In Isaiah 7:14, it says,
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
I won’t even address the fact that Joseph and Mary screwed up naming Jesus Immanuel. You might have heard about this infamous mistranslation. The prophecy doesn’t say ‘virgin.’ Virgin would be the Hebrew word Betulah. The original text uses the Hebrew word Almah, which means ‘young woman.’ If it was important for the woman to be an actual virgin the writers would have used the unmistakable word for virgin. The argument that I hear often is that Almah means a young woman of marriageable age. Since that is the case, it is understood she would be a virgin. Maybe so, but it isn’t guaranteed virginity. But for this reason it is believed the gospels writers used the word virgin when translating from Hebrew to Greek.
From this we get the New Testament writers telling the story of the virgin birth of Jesus. But was it an error or did the purposefully pick that word? As I have shown in other myths, the writers of the gospels pulled heavily on pagan mythology when inventing the Jesus story. Since that terrible movie Zeitgeist came out, it has become considered improper to bring up the similarities of other mythologies that mirror the Jesus myth. That movie took its theories a little too far and now it has ruined it for people like me who try to show comparative mythologies. But despite Zeitgeist, the fact remains that pagan myths with similar events existed during the time when the gospel writers were concocting the Jesus story. Mithra and Horus are usually cited but I advise everyone to look into these claims on their own and make their own determination. Needless to say, the Jesus myth was not an original story.
I don’t believe for a second that Mary was a virgin. I think the entire story is made up.
The Christians would say I am “missing out” like the comic above. But that shepherd has it right. But if it didn’t happen but she said it happened, my assumption would be that Mary lied. We have no evidence of any human ever being born without their parents having sex. However, we have lots of cases where women lie about who the father is or isn’t.
A few things could have happened. Mary and Joseph could have had sex, she got pregnant, they were not married and to save face with the people in their community they made up a crazy virgin birth story.
Mary could have been the Slut of Nazareth and just lied to Joseph. That little whore!
Another story from the second century exists that claims a Roman soldier named Pantera raped Mary and Jesus is his illegitimate son. This isn’t that far fetched. Roman soldiers often raped women, especially in the nations they conquered. Julius Caesar expected the soldiers to rape and pillage after a victory when he led his armies.
As a cover up of such a horrible act, Mary could have made up the virgin birth story. Maybe Joseph knew too and didn’t want anyone to know.
Do I believe these alternate scenarios? No. I think they are unlikely to be true but not as unlikely as a virgin birth.
So what do I think really happened? You find that answer out on Monday, when I reveal the last and most controversial myth of Christmas.